auto generated menu.lst file contents

Alexandre Strube surak at
Fri Jan 4 17:36:49 UTC 2013

Hello Saqlain,

you know the saying: give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man
to fish....

The best thing of open source is that, well, you have the source. Inside
the apt repository files, you can uncomment the source repositories, and,
after an apt-get update, instead of downloading the binary, you can
download the source.

Out of my memory, I suggest you download grub's source, find the source
file(s) of the update-grub, and start by looking at simple functions that
open files, such as fopen(), or for some strings (as some of these file
names might be hardcoded), or just stroll around the code. You would be
amazed at how much one is able to learn just by looking at some
never-seen-before code (or horrified, depending on the case) - but in any
case, you will learn WHILE having a mental challenge.

I sincerely hope this helps.

2013/1/4 Saqlain Abbas <saqlain.abbas.7 at>

> Thanks Colin for suggestions!
> I have now used used Ubuntu 12.04 (I can see 12.10 also available but did
> not give it a try) from I have modified
> rootfs as per my requirements (incorporated my all scripts and
> customization into into it, and is perfectly fine), I have modified
>  /etc/lsb-release, but unfortunately still menu.lst generated through
> update-grub, contain title as ubuntu. I suppose with this version
> update-grub should pick name from lsb-release as you mentioned, or i am
> missing something else also? Or you would suggest me to use 12.10, i want
> to avoid modifying update-grub, the reason you mentioned it will pick from
> lsb-release, is there some other files which i need to modify also? I have
> modified /etc/lsb-release, /etc/os-release, /etc/issue, /var/run/motd etc
> Thanks,
> Saqlain.
> On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM, Colin Watson <cjwatson at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 04, 2013 at 02:10:55PM +0500, Saqlain Abbas wrote:
>> > I have customized Ubuntu distribution, along with several customization
>> i
>> > have also changed distribution name, it works well. Currently I use this
>> > cutomized distro rootfs with Linux kernel  but whenever i do
>> update-grub,
>> > the auto-generated menu.lst file do have original distro name, My
>> question
>> > is grub read which file to determine distro name, as i want to
>> customize it
>> > completely.
>> The very old version of update-grub you're using hardcodes it, so you'd
>> have to edit the update-grub script directly to fix this.  More recent
>> versions (anything from Ubuntu 7.10 onwards) pick up the title from
>> lsb_release.
>> > Sample snippet from auto-generated menu.lst file
>> >
>> > title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.17-10-generic
>> > root (hd0,4)
>> > kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-generic root=/dev/sda5 ro quiet splash
>> > initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17-10-generic
>> You are using a dangerously old version of Ubuntu; that looks like
>> Ubuntu 6.10, which has been out of security support for nearly five
>> years and by now is very likely to be full of vulnerabilities.  Even the
>> version of Ubuntu that fixed the bug of not using lsb_release here has
>> itself been out of security support for nearly four years!  You should
>> upgrade to something very much newer at the earliest opportunity.
>> Cheers,
>> --
>> Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]
>> --
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> []
> Alexandre Strube
> surak at
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